Effects of electronic outlining on the organization of text ideas

  • Hein Broekkamp (Speaker)
  • Milou de Smet (Speaker)
  • Brand - Gruwel, S. (Speaker)
  • Paul Kirschner (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesTalk or presentation (not at a conference)Academic


    Writing is an important but complex skill in which student have to manage the cognitive processes of planning, translating and reviewing. To increase writing performance, students might therefore from the growing menu of tools that support writing. Outlining is one of the most frequently recommended strategies for novice writers to help composing a text. This study examined the effect of repeated electronic outlining on students’ text quality and perceived mental effort once text ideas are generated. Data were collected among 58 ninth-grade students who wrote two argumentative texts on an earlier discussed social issue. Students were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions in which they either wrote both texts using an outline tool or used the tool only during the second writing task. Findings revealed that first time outlining had no significant effects on text quality and perceived mental effort. However, repeated outlining increased students presentation of the argumentative text structure. Additionally, perceived mental effort decreased when students practiced using the outline tool. No significant results were found on students’ elaboration of the text structure which might be explained by task complexity. Outlining may only support more complex tasks whereas in this experiment, tasks requirements were decreased by previously discussing topics and arguments. De Smet, M. J. R., Brand-Gruwel, S., Broekkamp, H., & Kirschner, P. A. (2011, August). Effects of electronic outlining on the organization of text ideas. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Junior Researchers of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Exeter, UK.
    Period30 Aug 20113 Sept 2011
    Event title14th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction: Education for a Global Networked Society
    Event typeConference
    Conference number14
    LocationExeter, United KingdomShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational